The last-remaining grand U.S. post office in Philly closed up shop at 9th and Market this past weekend, leaving behind what’s considered one of the most beautiful interiors in the city.
“It’s a huge building, and we’re not fully utilizing all the space that we’re renting,” said Postal Service spokesman Ray Daiutolo told the Inquirer of the William Penn Annex Building at 900 Market. The postal service had announced its departure from the six-story building at about one year ago. Last Saturday at noon it officially shut its doors and will re-open at the Cast Iron Building at 718 Arch Street.
Last year, the Inquirer’s architecture critic Inga Saffron reminisced about the federal agency’s architectural glory days. The William Penn Annex Building was one of many grand buildings commissioned throughout the US in the 1930s by the Public Works Administration. Designed by Harry Sternfeld and Ballinger in 1937, it features a grand Art Deco-style hall that functioned as the post office’s main hub of activity.
It was one of two grand post offices built in Philly during that time, including the 30th Street Post Office, which has since been converted into offices for the IRS. That even more ornate Art Deco building was purchased in December 2015 for $345 million.
The future of the William Penn Annex Building remains uncertain, although the GSA has said before that it is hoping to utilize the building for other federal agencies. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since the building is now closed to the public, here’s a sneak peek inside thanks to all of the patrons who snapped a shot on its interiors over the years.